5 Reasons to Collaborate in the Cloud

February 10, 2016 by Amanda Ismail

cloud

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In an ever increasingly busy construction industry, employees don’t have time to slow down to focus on needless paperwork. Looking to the cloud can help to support this fast-paced environment, and improve workflow and performance.

How working remotely can fuel productivity for construction firms

Working in the construction industry is fast-paced and demanding, especially when company employees have to work from nearly everywhere. From the job site, in the office or on the road, work cannot slow down simply because files, folders and content are difficult to access. When looking to the cloud to support your file sharing, access and collaboration needs, it doesn’t matter where your workforce is working. All of the relevant documents and projects are available when you need them.

Consider the following five reasons why cloud-based solutions are especially effective for construction firms looking to optimise document sharing and collaboration processes.

1. Real-Time, Remote Access

When using a sophisticated cloud-based file sharing service, you and your team can have real-time, remote access to content at the office. That means when you need a file that is on an office desktop or server, even while on the job site, you’ll be able to access documents in real time, ensuring the most up-to-date versions. This powers your team by having the information they need at their fingertips so critical decisions are never delayed in the field.

2. Smart Sync for Offline Access

When you are out of the office, you need a file sharing and collaboration solution that intelligently knows what documents to sync on which devices so you have access to critical documents even where there’s no network. The best cloud-based solutions have the ability to replicate desktop file structures on a folder or sub-folder basis. This means that you and your team can access the documents you need from anywhere, while also being mindful of device limitations and storage capacities. For example, perhaps you don’t need access to blueprints on your smartphone because you don’t want to fill up your storage capacity, but you do want them on your tablet. On the other hand, you do want all change orders to be accessible from your smartphone for quick decision-making. Smart syncing will make that a reality.

3. Integrated Document Control

With cloud-based solutions for file sharing and collaboration, you have the ability to not only access content, but work on it as well. Ensuring true mobile productivity, these cloud solutions allow you to edit, annotate and lock content on any device, without third-party mobile applications that may create added complexity or even potential risk for data leakage. Version control should be built in so that you can access previous changes when you need them. This can be ideal for times when you need to edit a document or revert to prior changes while you are in the field.

 4. Built-In Security and Data Protection

With so many documents and as many parties that you collaborate with, making sure your data is secure and protected is critical. You simply cannot risk data leaks of confidential information. You also can’t be in danger of data loss if files are not adequately protected. The cloud can seamlessly solve these challenges. Files are automatically backed up and protected, while being secured by features including data encryption, policy-based controls, password and time-to-live protection. In addition, should you lose a device while on the road, you can remotely delete content from the lost device to safeguard private content from getting into the wrong hands. This is also helpful for on-boarding and off-boarding new subcontractors. Content can easily be allocated to them or removed from their devices, if needed.

5. Photo and Scan-to-PDF

The right cloud solution also employs a mobile app that integrates with the device’s camera. This is especially useful for conducting field surveys by taking a photo or video of a job site. You can then annotate photos, which convert to PDFs for ease of sharing. Additionally, documents that need to be signed can easily be done on tablets and sent to the right parties, all without a printer.

The cloud is the perfect tool for today’s mobile construction workforce. It offers scalability and remote accessibility like never before, while also giving your teams the features they need to fuel productivity. The result is file sharing and collaboration from any mobile device, anywhere, without fear of security leaks or data loss, which can go a long way to getting jobs done on time and improving client relationships. Having real-time information when you need it improves client satisfaction, which in turn improves your reputation overall. From the job site to the office, cloud-based file sharing will deliver immeasurable value and limitless possibilities.

Full article here: http://www.constructionbusinessowner.com/technology/software/july-2015-5-reasons-collaborate-cloud

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